I’m Keeping My Guilt-Free Diet Forever
6/7 Discipline, 1/7 Gluttony, 0/7 Guilt.
When I first heard about the virus, I, like most people, had no idea how dangerous it was, if it could reach young people or not, and if it was preventable.
So, I decided that I was going to strengthen my diet to empower my immune system as well as trying to avoid the stomach aches I was receiving from having a not-so-great diet.
As a ruthless self-experimenter, sometimes I will put myself through challenges that seem daunting at first, but when I settle into them, they make an extraordinary impact on my long-term self.
This is one of those challenges…
I’ve decided that I can go six days straight without any meat, dairy, bread, or added sugars.
My diet for six days a week consists of fruits, vegetables, rice, almonds, and that’s pretty much it.
Today for breakfast, I had an apple and a banana. For lunch, I had rice and asparagus. For dinner, I had sweet potatoes and more rice. I’ll probably make myself a smoothie soon.
It’s not super exciting, but there have been more ways to make food tasty than one would originally think.
Guacamole has become one of my favorite foods, the fruit smoothies I have made have been incredible, and hot sauce has become one of my best friends to give bland foods like rice some kick.
I have a “Chipotle Wednesday” dinner every week, too. It turns out when you go full veggie (extra brown rice, fajita vegetables, brown beans, every salsa, lettuce, guacamole), they give you the guac for free, and they end up giving you more total food than normal at a cheaper price.
There isn’t much temptation anymore to cheat before cheat day (Saturday) except for Thursday nights. Thursday nights can get tough: being so close, yet so far.
Once I get through Thursday and Friday, though, the real fun begins…
Friday is easier than Thursday because I feel like I’m already there. Right as Friday turns into Saturday at midnight, the gates are open, and I eat like there’s not going to be a Sunday…
The finish line tastes amazing. I’ll usually reheat some pizza that my family ordered on Friday night and go to town on whatever else is left in the fridge that I could not eat for the last six days. Turns out, pizza tastes even better when you refrain from eating cheese and bread for six days.
“Eating before bed is not recommended.” Shut up brain, I earned it this week.
After I wake up, I’ll eat some more, take a break, then eat some more, and some more.
Sometimes my break goes too long and I’ll have to remind myself that this is the ONLY day that I can eat everything I want until next week. I have to get it all in. By the time tomorrow comes, I should not even want to look at any of these foods. Oscar Wilde described it well when he said:
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Here’s the craziest part about it all: my stomach does not even hurt on cheat days. Now, my insides still don’t feel as great as they do the rest of the week, but I think that since my digestive and immune systems are being fed the right foods six days a week that it can handle one extremely busy day with no major problem.
The best part about it all: no guilt. I can eat whenever I want 6/7 days because I know the foods are good for me, and I can eat whenever and whatever I want 1/7 days because I know that I earned the day off.
One of the worst things you can do to your immune system is to feel guilty. Eating bad foods isn’t good, but eating bad foods while feeling bad is horrible.
If holidays and birthdays come upon a day besides Saturday, it becomes another cheat day. I’ll be having a feast this Saturday as well as Memorial Day. No shame.
I have not been on any vacations or trips yet, but when I do, I will try all the new foods that wherever I go specialize in, without any regard to whether it is healthy for me or not. I eat healthy enough at home, and once I start thinking twice, that’s when I get myself in trouble with the guilt loop.
It’s not religious like some other diets. Its main purpose is to strengthen the immune system, and one can’t do that while feeling guilt.
As one can probably tell from the title, I love this new way of eating. Six days a week I can feel the inside of my body saying “Thank you so much” for feeding it what it really needs, and every Saturday feels like I just won a championship.
Over quarantine, I’ve worked out less than I ever have and find myself in better shape than I was in before.
I’ve lost weight (almost too much weight honestly), and I have even considered adding a second cheat day during the week just to maintain weight. Maybe I just need to work out more.
My dreams have become more vivid and positive, even when I take an hour-long nap. Whether this has to do with the diet or an increase in mood is hard to tell, but it very well could be both.
Advice for anyone who wants to give this a go:
- Start with a cheat day. Go all out. Get a stomach ache. You’ll hate me for a couple of hours on the toilet, and you will love me for the rest of your life.
- Eat when you are hungry. It’s when you’re hungriest where you begin to daydream about tacos and pizza.
- Drink a lot of water. I need to do a better job holding myself to this. If you drink more water, you will be craving bad foods less.
- Having a blender helps. Smoothies come in clutch. Stock up on a ton of frozen fruits.
- If 6–1 is too tough, go 5–2.
- If you give “cheat day” a negative connotation, call it something else like “celebration day” or “reward day.”
Avoid all guilt!
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